Select one of the keywords
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky    by Heidi W. Durrow order for
Girl Who Fell from the Sky
by Heidi W. Durrow
Order:  USA  Can
Algonquin, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is a very short, unusual story of how a girl, Rachel, learns to deal with a family tragedy in the context of the interracial and bicultural person she is. The daughter of a Danish mother and a black American GI, she must live with her paternal grandmother after surviving the death of her mother, brother and sister.

The problem is, her mother raised her without reference to race, but her grandmother sees her as black. Not only must she try, with little support from the people around her, to deal with her immense grief, she must also learn to understand the different aspirations of her new black friends and neighbors. Although she feels utterly alone, she does have a friend who knows something about her background and the tragedy that befell her. Unfortunately he does not have the means to get to her until years pass, so she is mostly on her own to find out who she is and what kind of a life she would like to lead.

The author writes with great feeling for this young woman, incorporating all aspects of her life - race, culture, memory and family - with assured prose. The novel was a winner of the 2008 Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice, and it is richly deserved.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews